Heceta Head Lighthouse

Tour a whitewashed wonder by the sea that has been providing warning signals to ocean-going vessels for more than 100 years.

Heceta Head Lighthouse is a 19th-century maritime landmark perched 206 feet (63 meters) above the Pacific Ocean. The tall whitewashed tower first went into service in 1894. Today see its powerful automated beacon still keeping constant vigil over the waters off Oregon's coastline.

After more than a century of service, the lighthouse closed in 2011 for restoration work. Storm damage, disuse and years of sea spray threatened to consign it to history. Nearly 2 years later the building reopened, looking much as it would have when it first went into operation. Compare today’s appearance to photos from its past.

Learn more about the lighthouse’s history when you go on one of the free guided tours. Admire the architectural beauty inside and out, and note the smart interior brickwork, which is original to the building. Other original features include the wood floor of the workroom. Go up to the watchroom and see the gears that drive the lens. The lighthouse's beam can be seen 21 miles (34 kilometers) from land.

Heceta Head Lighthouse is located at the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. Following your tour, investigate more of this state park via the trails that run from the lighthouse. If you feel like a challenging hike, take the 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) section of the Oregon Coast Trail on the north side of the tower. The path is steep and winding and leads to viewing points before dropping down to a small beach.

Look for coastal wildlife, including seals and sea lions that occasionally rest on the rocks. The best time to see migrating gray whales and migratory birds here is during the spring and early summer.

Heceta Head Lighthouse is 12 miles (19 kilometers) north of the coastal city of Florence. Tours are conducted year-round, subject to weather conditions and staff availability. Purchase a day-use parking permit from a machine at the park and join a tour for free.